Google, Google, tell me: will my ad appear?

The article was written by Markestic


Your Google Ads search campaigns are up and running, and you’re excited to hit up Google to see the miracle, the Great Work, your digital imprint live in the world.

You type in the keyword you’ve been dying to get to – and nothing. You cannot find your own ad. But the competition is watching.

You feel disappointed, maybe angry, because you did not pay the agency “heavy” money for this. You check later in the day – still nothing.

This is the point when you call your agency and ask how that can be!

We will tell you.

Why your ads are not showing

There are countless possibilities, but none of them should cause you to despair.

No valid payment method

It’s obviously trivial, but if you haven’t set up the right payment method in your account, or if your payment method has been rejected by Google, then no matter how much work you or the agency have done on your campaigns, they won’t be able to run. You can check this in Google in the payment settings.

Pending ads

It is possible that the campaign is freshly created and Google has not yet approved the ads. This can sometimes take longer than 1 working day. You can see this in the Ads and plugins section of your Google Account. If the status of your ads is Pending, you will have to wait a little longer for your ads to appear.

Rejected ads

In a small percentage of cases, you may have everything set up perfectly, but the campaigns don’t run because the ads are disabled. In this case, you should contact customer services.

Your ads actually appear

You’ve tracked it down and everything is set up, the ads are active, the agency says everything is fine, but you search in Google and your ad never appears.

How is this possible?

Very simple. Let’s do a quick calculation.

You spend 5.000 HUF per day on a campaign. On average, say 100 cents a click. That means you have money for 50 clicks a day. Take an average click-through rate of 10% – so on average 10 out of 100 people click on your ad. (We hope you know that just because your ad is displayed, it may not be you who gets clicked, not your competitors or organic results.)

If we take the maths further, Google calculates that if you have money for 50 clicks a day, you can appear on Google a maximum of 500 times that day, because that’s how much you can pay. 500 searches.

Suppose you work in a very popular industry and your important keywords are searched 2,000 times a day. You can see that out of the budget you have, you can only appear in a quarter of searches – and in 75% of searches, your ad doesn’t show up at all.

And when you type your own keyword into Google, you might fall into that same 75% of the drop out, so don’t start worrying.

How to check your Google Ads ads

If this counting is a bit of a shock, let’s go in the Sherlockian detective direction.

The numbers never lie. Ask the agency for a report on:

    • Number of impressions – the number of times your ads have appeared for the campaign (if it is greater than 0, you can be sure your ads are running)

    • Number of clicks – how many times users have clicked on your ad (this is the traffic to your website from Google Ads)

    • Search impression share – the percentage of searches for your keywords that you were able to appear in (quasi, your “market share” of the ads)

    • Lost market share (budget) – this shows the proportion of the “market loss” that is due to a low, and therefore insufficient, budget. So if this indicator is 90%, it means that the main problem is low spending relative to the size of the market.

    • Lost impressions (placement) – this indicator shows the proportion of “market loss” due to inadequate ad positioning. If you see a high value here, the problem could be the quality of the ads and the click-through rates.

    • Appearance (top position) rate – this gives you an idea of the proportion of auctions where your ad has appeared in the top position – the top of the page.

    • Appearance (top position) rate – this strange-sounding element shows you the percentage of auctions where your ad appeared in the top 2 or 4 positions, above organic (unpaid) results

How does your ad look?

You’re probably wondering what your ads look like in all their glory, which is one of the reasons why you’re feverishly searching Google search for them.

If you’re looking at yourself on Google a lot (on a weekly basis, no, ‘daily’ basis), you’re depriving your campaigns of a lot of impressions and clicks that you’ve set up to attract real interest.

Since you pay for campaigns on a per-click basis, you obviously don’t click on your own ad (but your competitors do, let them pay), you’re telling Google that your ad is not attractive enough. By looking unnecessarily, you degrade the quality of your own ads.

So there are two ways to go: either cut your ads so that the quality index doesn’t deteriorate, or don’t search at all.

If you’re curious about how your ads look and appear in search, we recommend the following methods.

Advertisement preview and diagnostic tool

With this tool, you can see in your Google Ads account whether you would appear for a given keyword in a given geographic location and on a given device (e.g. mobile) at that moment. This is essentially a simulation tool that mimics Google search.

If you don’t show up because of a specific error, the system will print it.

If you don’t appear, again, don’t panic – just like in Google’s real search engine, you won’t appear 100% of the time.

Preview ads

In fact, the easiest way to experience how ads look is to click on an ad in your Google Ads account in edit mode – and then the ad will appear in its ideal form, with all the plugins set up.

Google Search

If you do Google, remember that the position you appear in and the device you appear on will determine how your ads appear.

Google gives you the largest advertising space in the very top position, especially on a computer – so this is where your longer ad texts and all your ad extensions can appear.

In cases where you don’t appear in the top position, Google may not show your entire ad, just the main messages.

What does the position of your ad depend on?

Compared to a fixed paid ad in a newspaper, the position of your Google Ads search ad depends on a lot of factors. Let’s take a peek!

Quality indicator

Google defines a quality metric as “an estimate of the quality of ads, keywords and landing pages.” Essentially, it shows the quality of your ads – whether the ad text is reflective of the searches the user has entered, whether the landing page has relevant information about the ad and the search, and much more.

But why is the quality indicator important?

Google favours high-quality ads and penalises poorer performing ads with higher click-through rates. So the better the quality of your pointer, the cheaper you get a click.

The quality indicator ranges on a scale from 1 to 10. The weakest performance is indicated by a 1, below 5 you are still in the danger zone, try to optimize for values above 7 instead.

Let’s see the components of the quality indicator!

Ad relevance

Google defines ad relevance as the degree to which a keyword is closely related to an ad, e.g. whether the keyword is repeated in the text of the ad. But think about it, if you were to Google “Adidas men’s shoes”, what would you be happier with? If the text of the advertisement were “Wide range of men’s shoes” or “Adidas men’s shoes”? Which would you prefer to click on?

Landing page experience

The landing page experience is an indicator of how relevant and useful your landing page (the part of the website where you direct people from the ad) is. If your website is easy to navigate, fast and mobile-friendly, you’ve won. If the site completely falls apart on mobile and takes a thousand years to load, neither Google nor the consumer will appreciate it, and the 2. leaves you after a second.

Expected CTR (click-through rate)

The expected CTR estimates how attractive an ad is for a given keyword based on the historical performance of the keywords in the ad account and the ad extensions you have set.

Click to bid

Every time a user searches Google Ads for your keywords, they enter an auction, a contest where other people bid for that keyword. If you bid too little for it, you could easily be out of the game or appear in a low position. However, the good news is that if your quality is good, you can get into the top places with lower bids. And the bad news is that if your ads are of very poor quality, Google will “reward” you with expensive click-through rates, and may not even let you near the top positions.

If you read just 5 points from the article…

  1. Don’t search your own ads on Google. This will degrade the quality of your ads and in the long run the click price you have to pay will be higher.
  2. If you’re unsure whether your ads are showing, check/ask the agency for statistics, such as the number of impressions.
  3. Small money – small football. If you are tight with spending, you will also have a small market share and you will not be able to respond to all enquiries (potential buyers).
  4. Your ad position depends on the quality of the ads and the click bid you set. The better the quality of your pointer, the cheaper the click. But bad ads are penalised by Google with high click-through rates.
  5. If you can, leave campaign management to the professionals. 🙂

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